Attorney in Steinle Case Blames Gun: It ‘Has No Safety’

By AWR Hawkins

Kathryn Steinle
Kathryn Steinle
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -( Last week Matt Gonzalez, attorney of alleged gunman Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, agreed with testimony that Lopez-Sanchez allegedly shot Kathryn Steinle but argued that it was the gun’s fault.

He suggested the gun went off without the trigger being pulled because it “has no safety.”

Steinle was shot and killed with a stolen handgun on July 1 2015 while walking on San Francisco’s Pier 14 with her father.

According to the Associated Press, Lopez-Sanchez’s defense to this point has been that he shot Steinle accidentally. The defense argued that Lopez-Sanchez found the gun wrapped in a t-shirt. He picked it up and it went off.

Prosecutor Diane Garcia countered this by suggesting that even if that were the case, Lopez-Sanchez “could have fired the gun anywhere, but he fired at Kate Steinle.” She accused him of “[playing] his own version of Russian roulette” with Steinle’s life.

Gonzalez responded by blaming the gun, a .40 caliber Sig Sauer that had been stolen from a federal agent who works for the Bureau of Land Management. He says the gun “has no safety” and claims “there is no evidence that [Lopez-Sanchez] put his finger in the trigger.”

It is interesting to note that Lopez-Sanchez reportedly told police at one point “that he was shooting at a seal or a black fish.”  He would need to put his finger on the trigger and pull it to do that.

Gonzalez does not deny that Lopez-Sanchez shared this explanation with police. Rather, he suggests Lopez-Sanchez only did so as part of an “awkward effort by Lopez-Sanchez to explain the accidental shooting.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
resistance is futile

Let’s get to the point of this problem:
1. He illegally reentered the united states.
2. Likely was the one that stole the gun or at least should have left the gun alone if it was (not likely) found.
3. Showed intent that he was going to do something with the gun by taking it and keeping it.
4. Had to pull trigger to fire gun.
5. Fired 3 times accidentally at victim?
6. Firing at protected sea lions is illegal and it shows he had an intent to kill something by his own admission.


The thug in this case had been deported at least 5 times for rape and other crimes, for all we know he was trying to get this WOMAN to go into some ally with him so he could the same thing to her that he had done how many times before. Take this garbage of a thug out and lash him between four horses and let them go in different directions, if that does not work for those that are feint harted then I suggest a good old fashioned keel hauling for this monster, for those that don;t know what… Read more »

Heartland Patriot

It sickens me to hear this kind of bull. They desperately want that scumbag illegal to walk out free so he can go kill again, I guess as long as he only kills “gringos”. This is what leftists want for the future everywhere at all times, America. Wake up and vote against ANYONE of either party who would allow illegals to go unchallenged like this, and continue to reward them for flooding across our borders.

Retired cop

I think that some of those anti gun, liberal progressives read articles such as this one and submit rediculous comments with many grammatical and spelling errors in an effort to make people think that all gun owners are ignorant, uneducated, redneck hillbillies. I have news for those liberal progressives (communists). Most any legal gun owner, redneck or hillbilly has more common sense in their little finger than all of the educated liberal progressives in this country and in the rest of the world have, put together. Common sense is no longer common. God gave me liberty, a gun is one… Read more »


Come on, Rusty! You don’t REALLY expect a FanSanFreako Hispanic Bolshevik attorney to know anything about the functioning of modern firearms, do you?


How many laws did this perpetrator break before he ended Ms. Steinle’s life? Yet politicians call for more ‘gun laws’ in the aftermath of tragedies like this. It’s time to punish criminal law breakers, not burden law abiding people with ever more ‘regulation’!

clifford foss

just another incident that that our wonderful president will ask forgivness for , and use against legal and respectable gun owners. The pardon is for his illegal alien , SO sad. My heart goes out to the victims family.


I am assuming it is a LEO issue Sig 229 40 cal. like one I have. It’s built like a tank. Mine is a DA/SA and has a decocker.
It is hammer fired, not striker. It takes a pretty good intention pull of the trigger to fire. This is a solid, well built quality firearm. This story of accidentally going off is BS. What the story doesn’t say is that the gun “went off” three times.
That’s not an accident.

Bruce A. Frank

Why does anyone accept the claim that Francisco Lopez-Sanchez “FOUND” the gun? Why isn’t it primary that HE stole it out of the agent’s vehicle? It would have been better if the prosecutor could have debunked the defendant’s attorney’s claim with a little knowledge as to how the Sig firing mechanism functions and that it cannot fire if the trigger is not pulled.


I say it is a matter of being properly taught the most simple and basic common sense. He obviously has the common sense & thinking ability of a pile of bricks, so definitive on-hands training is absolutely necessary. Do to him what he did to Kathryn, shoot him. Then, as he is laying there, tell him it wasn’t your fault and you’re completely blameless, it was the fault of the gun for not having a safety on it.


The problems in this instance are three fold. .(1) The criminal acquired a gun. (2) he shot and killed a person. (3) our judicial system and lawyers allow for and provide for ridiculous defenses to be presented to a court.
None of these points are for or against a particular gun.


If the Sig doesn’t havve a manual safety on the left side it has a trigger safety. It looks like the trigger is split, as in broken, but one is a latch that prevents the weapon from firing until both the latch release and the trigger are pulled.
Voila! It has a safety. Thousands of semi-automatic handguns are made that way. If you get in trouble, hire an attorney that knows one end of the gun from the other.


In another article I read, it said the M.E. said the bullet had ricocheted off the ground, then entered into her. Odd that the defense attorney wouldn’t bring that up, so he must be a public defender who doesn’t care one way or the other.


The reports I have seen have said there were three shots in a row. That kinda blows the accidental discharge theory to crap.


Another scum bag lawyer doing what they do best helping destroy what is left of our legal system.

Bob Sadtler

Thanks, Montie, for saving me the trouble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Some models of Sig pistols do have a MANUAL safety, and some models do not. Regardless of model, ALL Sigs do indeed have internal safeties. Under current law and regulations, no semi-auto pistol can be legally manufactured in the US – or imported to the US – without any safety (internal or external). The attorney, Gonzales, is arguing a valid point as far as an external safety is concerned, but he is – by omission of vital information (the word “external”) – wrongly implying that no safety of any kind exists on that specific gun… and he hopes the jury… Read more »

Ben Sleigh

I was a Police Officer for 40 years and carried a sig. Sig has a hammer block and can’t go off unless the trigger is pulled.
Most Liberals do not know what they are talking about when it comes to guns.
I was a firearms instructor for over 30 years.


There used to be some issues with Glocks that actually went off “accidentally” vs. “negligently” because of the trigger-type safety, which got hung up on parts of the holster or clothing when the pistol was being reholstered. I understand these issues ware corrected later, but since I don’t carry a Glock, I’ve never really followed the topic. Otherwise, and especially with a Sig (which I believe DOES have a safety), the danger of “accidental” discharge is essentially nil. Generally speaking, guns can’t “fire themselves,” someone has to pull their triggers. If the pistol didn’t have the safety engaged when it… Read more »


If this make+model has a safety then – however tenuous – any claim against the manufacturer for a design fault would be moot. The manufacturer can include the safety in the design but can’t guarantee that the last user put the safety on SAFE before leaving the gun for another person to pick up. So far, the facts reported do not imply murder. Rather, they imply negligent homicide. Giving the shooter the benefit of the doubt, he probably didn’t steal the gun. Someone else left the gun where it might be found by anyone passing by. That passerby might have… Read more »


He can make all the claims he wants to about the Sig not having a safety on it, but you know if you look on the left side of the thing there it is the safety, I had one, they do have a safety on them. This guy is just trying to lie his way out of it by blaming the gun just like everyone else does, blame the and turn it into some sort of creature or demon. The gun is just a tool, and this criminal decided to use it to take the life of an innocent person.… Read more »

Ron Case

Most guns have levers on there sides some call them safetys others call them Decock levers.

Dr Dave

Might be most but not all. Yes my 30 year carry piece my Walther is such a beast BUT my Glock 19 lacks as you put it a separate lever. The Glock the most carried weapon in the law enforcement world has 3 built in safeties but none are a separate device that must be “switched” in order to fire. All that is needed is a constant continuous pulling of the trigger with a round in the chamber and it goes bang. I can see where a NON gun trained person MIGHT use this a defense strategy but in this… Read more »


Maybe if he had stayed wherever he was deported to, five times. He might have killed another Hispanic and he would be in jail there and we wouldn’t have to worry about either one of them crossing our border illegally.


They all come up with some BS story. Prosecution will paint a different version of events.


The safety is supposed to be between the ears.

Clark Kent

‘Easiest to discharge negligently’. Any proof to back up that claim?

Jim Landerkin

There won’t be any “proof” because it’s not true. The lack of a manual safety does not cause negligent discharges. Most DA semi-autos — like MY Sig .40 — will only fire when someone pulls the trigger. The longer, heavy trigger pull when the hammer is not cocked requires deliberate action on the part of the shooter.

Jim Landerkin

There will be no proof because it’s not true. DA firearms with no manual safety — like MY Sig .40 — will only fire when the trigger is pulled. When the hammer is not cocked, i.e., in DA mode, the long, heavy trigger pull means that the shooter must be intending to fire.


The key word is negligently, not accidentally. I own a Sig P226 in 9mm and it has never had an accidental discharge. Since I keep one in the chamber at all times, it is DA. However, I can cock the weapon to make it SA.


Less actions required to fire, but it still takes an idiot to just pull a trigger and say I thought the gun wasnt loaded or that the safety was on.
I have carried a KP91DC for about 20 years and never had an issue except the cop that had a finger on the trigger and kept loading it without dropping the mag pointing it at me . I gave his supervisor an earful about how dangerous he is and found out he was a rookie on 1st week alone.


It’s fairly simple. Anything that requires two actions, (flip safety, pull trigger) is going to be more safe than something that only requires one action. You have one more step between click and boom. That’s one more chance to realize that your jacket drawstring is in your holster. It’s one more chance to realize that you just screwed up and stuck your finger on the trigger when you grabbed a falling gun, and so on. That’s why new cars require you to step on the brake before you pull it out of park, it’s one more chance for you not… Read more »


DAO no safety firearms are the fastest to fire and easiest to discharge negligently . After all , the guy stole it , pulled the trigger , I don’t care what lie the criminal is telling. He committed murder , the firearm works as its intended function. If he didn’t steal a Federal officers firearm which must have been unsecure is another issue.


I have carried a Glock Model 22 for over fifteen years and have Never Had A Negligent Discharge.
The best firearm safety is using your brain


This criminal is so stupid, he doesn’t need to be allowed to walk free ever again. His lawyer ought to be his room mate( cell mate).


The SAFETY of ANY gun is in the BRAIN of the person in possession of the weapon. The weapon is an inadamite object and has NO – – – – – FEELINGS.
Why when a car accitent occurs, the driver(person) is at charged; and when a shooting occurs. a gun is charged? Pure idiocy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!